HBO Max - Recommendations and Exclusives (as of 5/23/23: Just Max)

The new streaming service HBO Max launches this Wednesday.

So what’s the content? Well, it’s all of HBO Go/Now content, plus more exclusive stuff.

This C|Net article had a pretty good summary:

There’s a lot of stuff in that article, here’s the part about the exclusives:

A billion dollars seems like a lot to pay for two TV shows, but I guess they have math saying it’s worth it. Anyway, I highly recommend Search Party for those who haven’t watched it, unless you have a total aversion to watching unlikeable characters. Its season one finale is one of the most perfect episodes of TV I’ve ever seen. Everyone knows about HBO classics like The Wire and The Sopranos, but The Leftovers is worthy of inclusion in the same breath and is still super underrated despite its widespread acclaim.

I guess I’ll sub for at least a month in late June.

They got Keep your Hands Off Eizouken as one of their animes. Watch that.

It’s extremely unfortunate they’ve got the Cartoon Network and Adult Swim rights, because they’ve got exactly nothing else I care about (at least not out of this list), and a couple of things (BBT in particular) that I’d pay good money to wipe from existence.

Yeah, $425M for Friends boggles my mind. I’m surprised it’s held so much value. I guess the teens and 20-somethings who loved it at the time are now comfortable adults with money to spend.

I dislike Friends and never understood its mass appeal, but… it has a lot.

Just look at this map

Delawareans are still watching GoT despite how the series ended?

That map makes a hell of a case for HBO’s acquisitions, between the number of states watching Friends and the number watching Rick and Morty.

I already pay and I am mostly happy with it. No mention of 4K on the new channel though. So I assume it’s not going to support it. That is starting to become a sticking point. On the other hand, I absolutely loved The Watchmen series and some of my all time favorite shows were on HBO. Lately, their series are a lot more misses than hits though. I just want more from them for the money at this point.

I love the Muppets, but the Elmo late night show looks horrendous (and I hate the voice).

Clearly the Pacific Northwest is just awesome.

Friends has to be the most profitable TV show ever.

Could they have made that map any harder to read. I thought my eyes had failed.

Not just his voice, but I think over the years the camera has slowly gotten closer and closer to his face until it takes up the entire frame.

I know Friends is huge so I’m not doubting its popularity, I’m just questioning the decision making that says it’s worth that much money. But, again, I guess HBO has a financial calculus saying that it is.

A weird thing is that it’s not just nostalgic gen-xers watching Friends. For whatever reason, it’s massive among today’s teenagers and twentysomethings. It’s managed to keep a cross-generational cultural relevancy in a way that, say, Seinfeld hasn’t—a show I love(d) which Netflix reportedly spent even more money to acquire rights to, although I never hear anyone under 30 talk about it other than to complain about how out of touch Jerry Seinfeld himself is.

Montana and Vampire Diaries are about the least expected pairing ever.

A lot of people apparently watch Friends and The Office (American version) all the time, leaving it on in the background all day long.

I really don’t get it either. Friends was never a great show, even when it was new. The Office was great in both incarnations, but it rewards close watching to catch them giving the camera the side-eye and longing glances between Jim and Pam and whatnot.

So Missouri is tied with Ozark and…Fresh Prince of Bel Air? Fresh Prince? Seriously?

Maps like that must really make creators of new shows despair.

HBO Max is not available on Roku. Fail.